Political and Regulatory Affairs Round

  • 9 Feb 2024
  • 6 Mins Read
  • 〜 by Kennedy Osore



Banks start sharing customer data, balances with KRA


Banks have started sharing information about foreign account holders with the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) as the taxman steps up its purge of tax dodgers and beneficiaries of illicit wealth.


Some banks on Thursday notified their customers that they had started implementing the common reporting standards (CRS) under which countries agree to seamlessly share information on taxpayers.


The KRA is also expected to receive similar details on a resident taxpayer with an offshore account.


For individual account holders, banks will share with the taxman details such as account balance, address, place of birth, date of birth, country or countries of tax residence, and ID numbers.


In the case of corporate entities, banks are also expected to collect and forward to the KRA information on the place of registration, the entity type, and the controlling person.


(Source: Business Daily)




Tanzania vows to deal with irresponsible ICT users


Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa has assured the public that stiff punishment will be taken against those who use Information Communication Technology (ICT) irresponsibly.


He made the remarks at the Parliament in Dodoma during Thursday’s Prime Minister’s Question session as he was responding to a question raised by parliamentarian Nusrat Shabaan Hanje, who sought to know the government’s plan to intensify online child protection.


(Source: Daily News)




Lawyers and judiciary clash over meeting to discuss Museveni’s letter


A section of the members of the Uganda Law Society clashed with the Judiciary following the High Court’s recent decision blocking their Extra Ordinary General Meeting that wanted to discuss, among others, the independence of the Judiciary.


In a statement issued on Wednesday evening, members of the society have reached the extent of plotting to boycott the Judiciary’s new law year slated for Friday, February 9th, 2024.


New Law Year is the biggest annual event in the Judiciary that brings together all heads of the three arms of government where the Chief Justice accounts for what the Judiciary did in the past year and what they intend to do within that new year.


(Source: The Independent)




Rwanda-Poland relations: A timeline


Available records indicate that Rwanda-Poland relations date as far back as 1962. The December 2022 three-day working visit in Rwanda of Poland’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Pawel Jabłoński and his high-level delegation reaffirmed the two countries’ commitment to further strengthen bilateral relations.


But the February 6-8 visit to Rwanda by President Andrzej Duda of Poland and First Lady Agata Kornhauser-Duda takes things to a higher level, further strengthening bilateral relations. It is the first visit to Rwanda by a Polish president. Among other things, President Duda and his host, President Paul Kagame, witnessed the signing of agreements on trade and economic cooperation, and in the fields of green technologies, environmental engineering, geology, and energy efficiency.


(Source: The New Times)




Ethiopia MPs approve intelligence chief Temesgen Tiruneh as deputy PM


Ethiopia’s Parliament on Thursday approved the appointment of National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) Director-General Temesgen Tiruneh Dinku as deputy prime minister, replacing Demeke Mekonnen, who had served in the role for 11 years, state-run media reported. 


In addition, Parliament accepted the nomination of Taye Atske Selassie, a former ambassador to the United Nations, as foreign minister. Mekonnen has also served as foreign minister since 2020.


(Source: The East African)




Sudan communications blackout widens amid accusations


The telecommunication and internet blackout in Sudan has rendered about 65 per cent of the country’s population unreachable.


Large parts of Darfur have been experiencing months-long blackouts, forcing citizens to use Starlink’s satellite communication network.


The Sudanese are accusing members of the ousted Al Bashir regime, the army, or the RSF of being behind the blackout.


Journalist Mohamed Mustafa stated that “Communication and internet access in the majority of Sudan’s states were blocked by the Janjaweed (aka RSF).


(Source: Radio Dabanga)




Cabinet approves 10 new ambassadors


The Cabinet of Ministers of the Government of the Federal Republic of Somalia has approved 10 ambassadors to work in some of the international countries where the country has diplomatic relations.


The ambassadors appointed are:


1- Abdazis Mohamud Mohamed (Farabadane)

2- Abdullahi Mohamed Sheikh Abdullahi

3- Ali Abdi Aware

4- Ali Mohamed Abukar (Ali Wolf)

5- Bashir Hassan Haji

6- Fathudin Ali Mohamed

7- Hussein Abdi Halane

8- Khadija Cosoble Ali

9- Khadra A Dualle

10- Ridwan Hirsi Mohamed


(Source: Radio Dalsan)


Trade and Financial Services Round-Up: K.O




Kenya-Japan firms in Sh99bn eco-energy, car assembly deals


Kenya has signed a number of agreements with Japanese firms, including giant Japan’s Toyota Tsusho Corporation, that could unlock nearly Sh99 billion in investments in green energy and automobile assembly.


“In Tokyo, Japan, witnessed the signing of the Framework Agreement for Collaboration between Kenya and Toyota Tsusho Corporation and later toured the Toyota Motamachi Factory,” posted Dr William Ruto on his official X (formerly Twitter) account on Wednesday.


“The pact entails Sh15 billion Meru Wind Farm Energy, Sh8 billion Isiolo Solar Energy, Sh800 million Thika Kenya Vehicle Manufacturers (KVM)’s initial investment, Sh75 billion Menengai Geothermal Plant and Electrified Vehicles promotion.”

(Source: Business Daily)




New tax stamp fees to boost collections


Analysts have said the new prices for tax stamps will yield positive impacts on collections and contribute significantly to the country’s economic growth.


The slashing of tax stamp fees follows the successful completion of negotiations between the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA), the Confederation of Tanzania Industries (CTI) and the vendor SICPA SA.


Through this new arrangement, the manufacturers will now pay less by between 15 and 30 percent, depending on the sectors. Commenting, the Head of Research and Financial Analytics, Alpha Capital, Mr Imani Muhingo, said in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday that the move is expected to lower the cost of production, leading to enhanced output value. He said the cost of electronic tax stamps has been an outcry from respective manufacturers for a while now it is a relief that the cost is alleviated.


(Source: Daily News)




Uganda ranks fourth in Absa Africa Financial Markets Index 2023


Uganda maintained its fourth position with a score of 63 out of 28 countries surveyed in the Africa Financial Markets Index 2023.


The Absa Group survey, released in Kampala, the capital of Uganda, on Tuesday, said that Ugandan government bonds were added to the FTSE Frontier Emerging Markets Government Bond Index, increasing their visibility in the global market.


In the East African region, Uganda ranked first, followed by Kenya with a score of 59, Tanzania with a score of 55, and Rwanda with a score of 44.


The survey showed that South Africa took the first position on the continent with 88, Mauritius second with 77, and Nigeria third with 67.


(Source: The Independent)




Polish, Rwandan business leaders explore trade, investment partnerships


A delegation of Polish business executives is in Rwanda to explore potential partnership avenues of trade and investment with their Rwandan counterparts, banking on existing bilateral ties.


In the second edition of Rwanda-Poland Business Forum, which convened on February 7, a total of 18 Polish business executives and different Rwandan businesspersons met in a roundtable discussion presided over by President Paul Kagame and his counterpart President Andrzej Duda, who is on a state visit to Rwanda.


The meeting aimed at positioning the private sector to streamline the implementation of two agreements signed earlier, one in the field of trade and economic cooperation and another in the fields of green technologies, environmental engineering, geology, and energy efficiency, as well as other ongoing economic projects between the two nations.


(Source: The New Times)




First Africa Coffee Week momentous occasion for elevating African coffee to new heights: IACO Chair


The African Fine Coffees Conference (AFCA) and Exhibition and the First African Coffee Week are crucial events to elevate African coffee to new heights, Inter-African Coffee Organization (IACO) Chairperson and Agriculture Minister Girma Amente said. 


Girma made that remark on Wednesday at the opening of the 20th African Fine Coffees Conference and Exhibition and the First African Coffee Week 2024 at the Millennium Hall in Addis Ababa.


Opening the Conference, he said this First African Coffee Week serves as a platform for knowledge exchange, collaboration, and innovation within the African coffee sector.


(Source: ENA)




Satellite internet surges in Sudan


Intermittent, unreliable, and non-existent internet and communication connections, that have plagued Sudan and Darfur since the outbreak of the war, have prompted a proliferation of Starlink satellite receivers across Sudan after the technology became available in August last year.


Sudanese civilians and businesses have had to cope with rolling communications blackouts ever since the war broke out in April 2023, leaving many isolated from potentially life-saving information. As reported by Radio Dabanga this week, El Sudani, MTN, and Zain telecommunication and internet networks are all experiencing intermittent interruptions and extended blackouts in various parts of the country.


The demand for reliable connections has resulted in a surge of US-made Starlink satellite internet devices, with Nyala, the capital of South Darfur, as the hub.


(Source: Dabanga)